Yearly Archives: 2012

Action List Contributors Nuclear Advocacy Uncategorized

Review of this years posts

  1. The recent presidential election has left a bad impression to most people. The election process needs changing so that more people can learn about the real issues and stop wasting cash for character attacks and useless ads and only letting those with money call the shots.
    One Term Amendment Needed to Flush Out the Abuse of Power Jan. 4, 2012
  2. Guest Post by Robert Gauthier (DV82XL) who has been an active critic of the way the nuclear industry and it’s advocates treat the subject of proliferation here is his post.
    Uncovering the Truth about the Threat of Nuclear Proliferation by DV82XL Jan. 18, 2012
  3. After a year of hype and propaganda regarding Fukushima an attempt to put it all in perspective.
    Fukushima Foolishness Amongst Tohoku Terror Mar. 15, 2012
  4. Taking action and making change needs props and here are some listed.
    Your Nuclear Advocate Activist Kit Apr. 10, 2012
  5. First of two excellent books published in the same year Superfuel is one of them.
    See my book review of SUPERFUEL by Richard Martin Apr. 20, 2012 and also
    My review of Thorium: energy cheaper than coal by Robert Hargraves
  6. Another post that is a direct copy and paste but felt that my readers needed to see
    How Congress Goes Nuclear May. 1, 2012
  7. Nuclear Bloggers Extraordinaire exposing the dishonesty May. 18, 2012
  8. The getting-to-be-obvious fact, to many people, that the NRC has been controlled by anti-nuclear forces like Harry Reid’s sidekick Jaczko
    Jaczko announced his resignation May. 21, 2012
  9. Obama keeps picking the staff based on what appears politically correct.
    Obama picks an anti-nuke!!! MacFarlane has no nuclear background. We must object. May. 24, 2012
  10. A different take on the subject of Yucca and the situation in Nevada
    The History of Nuclear Waste told by Matt Stroud Jun. 15, 2012
  11. My plea to appeal to rational minds about FukushimaMusic and facts to calm residents near Fukushima Jul. 2, 2012
  12. My view about how making the argument for global change is too ambitious for many and that it leads people to remain fence-sitters on an important issue.How the focus on climate change allows complacency – macro vs micro Aug. 16, 2012
  13. About how the close contests for leadership have made the campaigners into phonies and adoescents.Fear of losing only happens in close contests. Rod Adams explains the low risk campaigning. Sep. 20, 2012
  14. When leadership is sadly missing among world leaders my letter to a new candidate spells out what is needed to make them better leaders.A Letter to the Newest Federal Liberal Candidate – Justin Trudeau Oct. 7, 2012
  15. Pertaining to Fossil Fuel Industry Fighting Nuclear Using Propaganda Oct. 8, 2012
  16. Social Risk Assessment and Data Mining vs. Good PR Planning? Nov. 14, 2012
Action List Nuclear Advocacy

Social Risk Assessment and Data Mining vs. Good PR Planning?

A New York Times article China Mandates Social Risk Reviews for Big Projects by Keith Bradsher published on November 12, 2012 discusses proposed measures to be taken in China to avoid violent protests over major installations such as coal plants, chemical plants and copper smelters.

When I read this it immediately struck me as both progressive and short-sighted at the same time. I thought that any projects that pose a perceived threat to the public can be handled in a planned methodical way. But like so many governments when it comes to doing risk assessment it is rarely done to determine feasibility of a project. And if it is done at all it is only done in response to violent protests. And even then discussion about risk assessment is often a way to keep the critics off their backs.

The idea that data mining or predictions could be made based on using the internet and social media to get a pulse of the people is a progressive idea. To my mind it seems that more valuable information could be gathered than about where the risk of violence could happen. What about areas that the public is misinformed or needs educating on crucial facts. We know propaganda is a misused tool in dictatorships but what about the truth about nuclear energy and radiation. Could we learn from this? How about trying to read the pulse of Americans and Canadians? The leaning of various groups toward superstition and irrational fear could be alleviated by ads and documentaries. This would not be wasteful spending.

The so-called risk they are trying to avoid is not the environmental damage. That is usually a secondary concern. The risk they are trying to deal with is the reaction of the public. It appears that the Chinese public are suffering more at the expense of industrial growth. Growing pains maybe.

In October of this year over fifteen hundred demonstrators marched in Ningbo City against the government to protest the expansion of a petrochemical plant. There was a clash with the local riot police. Roads were blocked. The government agreed to halt the plants expansion. Earlier this year in July there was a protest in Shifang that also drew thousands and influenced the outcome. In this case it was construction of a copper mine that had been halted. Both these projects were stopped after the local protests spread nationally through the social networks. See map of Protests Over Large Projects None of them are nuclear although there was a report in January, 2012 about a new nuclear plant in Pengze county in Jiangxi.

So the question I want answered is this: Why not use money needed in doing a risk assessment that requires spending on research and analysis to include creating ads or mini documentaries that can educate the public about the benefits. Public pressure is often the result of misinformation. It would be a more holistic approach. Remove the fears and prevent the protests. This is a sensible way to help bring about positive change.

Nuclear Advocacy

Pertaining to Fossil Fuel Industry Fighting Nuclear Using Propaganda

How rare? Four of my heroes (Rod Adams, Robert Steinhaus, Robert Hargraves and John Kutsch) comment on the same topic. In this case the fossil fuel industry’s interference with the progress of nuclear energy.

David Owen asked the question on the Thorium Energy Alliance facebook page:

Are there any recommended readings you might direct me to pertaining to Fossil Fuel industry fighting Nuclear using propaganda? Do you find Big Oil to be at all complicit in the demonizing of Nuclear Energy via the Media and other channels such as education?

Robert Steinhaus: The most significant development constraining the wider application of nuclear energy in American is the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974. The coalition that succeeded in passing this legislation did include representatives of the fossil fuel lobby, who in 1974 saw nuclear energy as a real and present threat to their business. Also participating in pushing through this legislation were anti-nuclear groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists and Ralph Nader’s Critical Mass movement as well as the early environmental lobby.
Prior to the passage of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, over 12 different families of nuclear reactors were invented and prototyped. Since the passage of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, no new families of reactors (including Thorium fluid fuel reactors) have been design certified and built (the US has become a LWR only shop). The Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 now does the job of keeping nuclear out of contention with fossil fuels and keeps nuclear from being chosen by communities that need power. Regulation is frozen fear, and once put in place regulation obstructs progress and technological development often for decades. 
The current fossil fuel industry understands that as long as the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 remains in place, they do not really have to worry about nuclear. Only two licenses to build new reactors have been issued in the last 30 years, and it is problematic that both licenses granted will actually result in operating reactors. The fossil fuel industry does not have to run commercials or hire lawyers to harass the nuclear industry, as existing regulation from NRC does a splendid job pricing up nuclear to the point it is rarely built. Fossil fuel executives know they have far more to fear from EPA, and the young 3 years out of school non-engineer EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) environmental staffers that feel they have the right to choose for what kinds of power generation can be built through ratcheting air and water quality requirements and putting billion dollar fossil fuel plants out of operation. In the eyes of fossil fuel CEOs, nuclear is handled and muzzled with NRC regulation. It is wasteful on the part of fossil fuel CEOs to worry about issues that have been securely dealt with when real challenges like EPA, which threatens to put fossil fuel plants out of business with regulatory ratcheting, are currently driving the choice of what forms of power generation will be tolerated in America in the future.
Rod Adams: Robert Steinhaus The fossil fuel industry runs commercials ALL THE TIME and has “lawyered up” for decades. They also have a rather substantial investment in Washington lobbyists.

If you watched any of either of the conventions from the duopoly political parties in the US, you might understand why I would have captioned those shows as “brought to you by coal, oil and gas pushers”.

I agree that the Energy Reorganization Act was a coup de grace of antinuclear activism brought to all of us by a coalition of coal, oil, natural gas and their paid assistants that work under the cover of “Environmentalism”, but I do not believe that the fossil fuel industry has been resting on that foundation. (Did you know that Nader is an Arab-American whose first big break as a “consumer advocate” was to write a book that virtually stopped production of one of the first commercially successful small, fuel efficient cars ever designed in Detroit. Think about that for a moment.)

Nuclear will always be a threat to the wealth and power of the fossil fuel industry. That is not because it will stop humans from beneficially using the wonderful properties of hydrocarbons, but because the false notion that energy fuel is scarce will disappear. BTUs will once again become cheap and disposable, people will be able to do more work, and the air and water will become cleaner. 

However, people will fight less and less over those BTUs, no one will even consider investing $45-$65 billion in Alaskan LNG projects, no one will get excited about drilling for oil in the Arctic (and even Antarctic), deep sea oil and gas will remain in place, and even tight shale gas will probably be thought of as something that our distant descendants might think about extracting if they really need some methane.

Just think about how that situation will change the world power structure and you will recognize that there are people who can be our strong allies. We will need them because the people who will be the “losers” in that scenario hold a lot of chips now, and are gathering even more every single day. 

Their hand, however, is roughly equal to a couple of pairs of 7s and 8s while ours is more like a royal flush. We just have to hang in there so they cannot buy the pot.

Rod Adams: One more thing – do you really think that the EPA is working against the interests of the most power parts of the fossil fuel industry? Do you think it is an accident that a highly efficient coal plant cannot quite meet the CO2 per kilowatt hour limit while a natural gas plant can – as long as the rules are written so that the methane released in the extraction and transmission process is ignored?
David Owen: This is more like it. Thank you gentlemen and scholars. :)
Robert Hargraves: I’m simply amazed at the current commercial, “… invested nearly 100 billion dollars in clean coal…” — an outright lie.
John Kutsch: the biggest push back from Fossil fuel has been from Coal. The liquid fuels folks dont have any threat from THM SR and we have not heard from nat Gas , but they are too cheap to care right now anyways. The final thought is that you wont be using MSR for electricity you will use it for process heat – that gets some naysayers off our backs

Robert Steinhaus makes a comment that is rarely mentioned about the Energy Reorganization Act. So was worth posting this discussion. I did a little digging and found that in 1974

The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was divided in two. One for energy and the other for weapons.

The Energy was further divided into a
Research body:
“The Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA)”
AND
Regulation body:
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission”

And the biggest blow was the shutting down of the
JCAE (Joint Committee on Atomic Energy)

Although the JCAE lasted until 1977 it was largely ineffective after the NRC formed in 1974.

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

A Letter to the Newest Federal Liberal Candidate – Justin Trudeau

Dear Justin Trudeau

I am in favour of any leader who knows energy science. That tells me they care about the environment and recognize that in order to protect the planet from disaster from climate change we cannot simply adapt an “all of the above” outlook on energy. The days of politicians who rely on other politicians to guide them on policy has to end. Consult with the experts, scientists and engineers. The need for energy will keep getting bigger and our resources will keep getting smaller. There is only one reliable source of energy that is sustainable and will never run out and that is nuclear energy. Look at the facts. http://thoriummsr.com and http://deregulatetheatom.com

I also urge you to consider the hysteria over radiation. (read F.E.A.R. Fukushima Emits Acceptable Radiation )

Two of the biggest discoveries I have made in recent years is related to radiation. One is that we all have experienced radiation from the beginning of time. (read Leslie Corrice’s page “The ‘Nuclear isn’t Natural’ Myth“) The same elements that have been around since the big bang are still releasing their radiation except perhaps the elements that have nearly disappeared from natural decay, the point is that our bodies have learned to deal with small amounts of radiation like what has occurred in Fukushima. In fact we evolved from a time when natural radiation was much stronger. (see The Time is Right For Discussing Hormesis )

Second is that nuclear activity is what keeps the earth’s core in a molten state and that without out it we would not have a magnetic field that enables the planet to deflect solar winds from the sun preventing us from turning into a dead planet.

The problem with wind and solar are a double whammy of expense and unreliability. The energy from nuclear is just so much more dense and reliable it occupies much less space. When you actually look at their differences you will be shocked. (see Nuclear power compared to other sources )

You can learn a lot by reading my two blogs above but also AtomicInsights.com and
following the “Energy From Thorium” page on facebook.

Suggested Reading

Robert Hargraves Thorium: energy cheaper than coal
http://www.ThoriumEnergyCheaperThanCoal.com/

Gwyneth Cravens http://cravenspowertosavetheworld.com/

Follow http://BraveNewClimate.com and Barry Brook from Australia

also news columnists George Monbiot and Mark Lynas from the UK

or google Kirk Sorensen on Youtube and find his many talks.

 

 

Action List Contributors Nuclear Advocacy

Fear of losing only happens in close contests. Rod Adams explains the low risk campaigning.

Rod Adam’s of AtomicInsights.com has an excellent blog titled Nuclear fission energy best of the above which as an example of good style makes me envious. He keeps on coming up with original commentary about nuclear energy. No blogger is more consistent and as well read by such a loyal following on a pronuclear blog. Much of the time I wait for inspiration to add something I have not already said. Charles Barton was also a prolific blogger and despite serious health problems manages an occasional blog against all odds. What do these guys have in common? They care about the planet. They know that nuclear energy is by far the best way to deal with the Earth’s inhabitant’s addiction to energy and finding the best way to replace our fossil fuel emissions.

My title really throws a twist that may not have been the focus of his post but it is so true. The fact that Obama rarely uses the word “nuclear” in his current campaign indicates that he’s worried about losing votes to the anti-nukes. To let the “unreliables”, as Rod points out in another post, have equal status with reliables like nuclear energy is an indication that the politics based on fear of offending is dominating politics.

I know Barack Obama is a talented man and I forgive the fact that he cannot be good at everything but what I am unhappy about is that he cannot seek the advice from the experts. He takes advice from the policy advisers and policy makers. The fact that the opposition to nuclear energy has got Japan and Germany in a perilous stranglehold on their energy policy is a message that has made Obama and Romney nervous. If only one of them understood that taking the lead on this topic is not suicidal if they truly believe in it. The economic hardship could also be solved by building up a nuclear energy policy and showing some courage in advocating for regulatory reform.

This is easier to explain to the public than the regulation of Wall Street. The behavior and the track record is easy to explain. If the recent push toward less government has Obama worried that exposing the fact that the NRC has been influenced by politicians and that they do not act in the interest of the common good or for the advancement of science, then he should point out that deregulation is less government.

Why are so many countries running with close elections? I think it is because to a great degree the corporations rule. The outcome of elections is heavily manipulated by the wealthy corporations. I’ve said it before that the public’s duty in a world gone mad is to focus on how to change the world by tackling local issues related to the greater good of the planet. Now more than ever the public should not give in to the feeling of having no power to make change. Supporting a dense energy, pollution free 24/7 reliable energy source and pushing for the good that it will do creating jobs, keeping the air clean and maintaining our standard of living is for the greater good. Energy is not the only issue but it is perhaps the most important one that will make the most difference to our future and our children’s future.

Steve Aplin explains that Governments investing in Wind and Solar are going to pay the price for ignoring Nuclear Energy on Canadian Energy Issues

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

How the focus on climate change allows complacency – macro vs micro

One important discussion point about the possibility of climate change is what can we do to fix what we know is broken. My discussion focuses on the idea that man made climate change is a touchy topic for some people and there is a more direct approach to fixing things. When and if Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is provable we will have a head start by tackling things we know are harmful.

We know the air is more polluted than it should be by things like coal burning and motor vehicles. We know that nuclear energy does not pollute the air and those that actually study energy will learn that nuclear energy is the best alternative to creating clean, reliable, affordable energy. Studying nuclear energy reassures us that there are a lot of people who have been affected by the propaganda and superstition around nuclear energy and that the connection between nuclear bombs and nuclear energy is quite distant.

The macro view of weather patterns and climate are too big a field of study to draw conclusions that satisfy everybody. I propose a micro view to solving local problems are a better goal. The state you live in probably has coal plants that can be replaced with nuclear plants. That is a good cause for which to fight.

Here is a discussion that I started on BraveNewClimate forum about the effects that the ocean has as a moderating influence on CO2 content.

Rick Maltese:  

My beef is with the idea that deniers and fence sitters look at the difficulty climate science has with being certain and they choose to be passive. Whereas if the focus were more about loss of life and quality of life then the oceans for example would be worth trying to save, and topics like making the air more breathable and more free of GHGs would be promoted. One website called "The Resilient Earth" has a section on the moderating effect of the oceans on CO2.

http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/ocean-co2-storage-revisedIt is not very long and I would like it if anyone here can tell me how accurate the claims are. Thanks. These kinds of links make it sound like the oceans will take care of the planet like some kind of regulator.

What I'm finding is that websites that should be giving the whole picture are sadly lacking. What I keep ,wondering is whether sites like these are attempts to be cover ups of the real issues such as acidification and gradual warming of the atmosphere.

http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/1vd.htmlandhttp://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Bi-Ca/C....Atmosphere.html are two examples of what I'm talking about. It's what they don't say that seems criminal.


David M: Jun 5, 2012, 2:53pm,rickmaltesewrote:

One website called "The Resilient Earth" has a section on the moderating effect of the oceans on CO2.

The Resilient Earth site appears to be mainly a crank denialist site. They don't think the Himalayan glaciers are melting for instance. It doesn't mean they don't communicate some interesting specifics. Commonly these folks have some scientific background.

As far as the article if the oceans are generally becoming more acidic with the rise of CO2 that would suggest that the biological processes leading to the sequestering of CO2 aren't sufficient to neutralize the problem.


Anon:

The oceans do absorb CO2but they aren't doing it fast enough to prevent atmospheric concentrations from rising (there's an equilibrium process at work here, the higher the concentration in the atmosphere the more the oceans will absorb).

Ever since we started emitting CO2from fossil fuel burning and got the concentration up nature has been absorbing more CO2than the natural rate of emission (and absorption), it just hasn't been keeping up with our extra emissions.


Rick Maltese:

But the uncertainty is a big factor. The idea that the ocean has been saving our ass and will continue for another, say 500 years (wild guess), is the kind of fact that would be good to know. On the other hand if we had a conscience about the damage we're doing to all living things including ocean creatures should be enough to motivate us.


Anon: Jun 6, 2012, 9:56am,rickmaltesewrote:
But the uncertainty is a big factor.
It's one of the bigger problems in that we don't actually know exactly what'll happen so we really can't prepare for the changes in advance and will instead have to react to whatever ends up happening. Jun 6, 2012, 9:56am,rickmaltesewrote:
The idea that the ocean has been saving our ass and will continue for another, say 500 years (wild guess), is the kind of fact that would be good to know.
It would be, if it were true, but it probably isn't. Though the thermal inertia of the oceans has been delaying the effects somewhat (along with effectively locking them in for about the next thousand years). Jun 6, 2012, 9:56am,rickmaltesewrote:
On the other hand if we had a conscience about the damage we're doing to all living things including ocean creatures should be enough to motivate us.
Of course to be able to care about such things we'd need to already have our basic survival needs met (this is also why the idea of everyone going back to a simpler life would be an environmental disaster).
Rick Maltese: So far no comments address my original point that the PR of climate change might not be as effective as the PR of species extinction in the face of pollution. Yes, I agree that the PR of climate change does put an urgency to the need to act now but winning over the believers is a harder sales job. I think the recent Town Hall meeting in which Barry Brook and three others participated was a good PR move for nuclear energy. Two good outcomes. The media paid some attention because the PR angle is good. Four cases that are both pronuclear and environmentalist is an important spin on the subject. The other good out come was the phrase "Know more. Fear less."
Anon: Jun 11, 2012, 12:46pm,rickmaltesewrote:
So far no comments address my original point that the PR of climate change might not be as effective as the PR of species extinction in the face of pollution. Yes, I agree that the PR of climate change does put an urgency to the need to act now but winning over the believers is a harder sales job.
The evidence does indicate that those who tend to disbelieve in global warming tend to be more likely to accept it as happening if they are told the solution is nuclear power than if they are told anti-pollution legislation is the solution (and any birds sent extinct can always bereplaced:-)). From the Cultural Cognition Project'sSecond National Risk & Culture Study:
Individuals' expectations about the policy solution to global warming strongly influences their willingness to credit information about climate change. When told the solution to global warming is increased antipollution measures, persons of individualistic and hierarchic worldviews become less willing to credit information suggesting that global warming exists, is caused by humans, and poses significant societal dangers. Persons with such outlooks are more willing to credit the same information when told the solution to global warming is increased reliance on nuclear power generation.

Rick Maltese:Thanks for that. Good find.
David M: Jun 12, 2012, 10:03am,Anonwrote:
Individuals' expectations about the policy solution to global warming strongly influences their willingness to credit information about climate change. When told the solution to global warming is increased antipollution measures, persons of individualistic and hierarchic worldviews become less willing to credit information suggesting that global warming exists, is caused by humans, and poses significant societal dangers. Persons with such outlooks are more willing to credit the same information when told the solution to global warming is increased reliance on nuclear power generation.
The problem Anon is the type of folks who are attracted to large imposing hierarchical forms of energy production are also the kind of folks who don't want to spend public money on them or the infrastructure that makes them possible as you may have noticed from our present congress.
Anon:

Well they don't want to spend the money on anti-pollution measures either but it's going to be a lot easier to convince them to spend money if it's a solution which they approve of (and also if they actually believe there's a problem which needs solving, a person who doesn't believe in global warming is less likely to want to spend money to solve it, even than a so-called fiscal conservative who thinks global warming is happening and a threat).

Action List

Music and facts to calm residents near Fukushima

I needed to come up with something to calm the spirit and make room to replace the panic-ridden thoughts that citizens of Japan have accepted.

Think of this music as a pathway to peace of mind. After listening go away. Take a rest from your troubles. But should you happen to get curious about the truth come back. Because I am planning to post facts that will ease your mind.

1. Here’s one to start.
[media-credit id=3 align="alignright" width="668"][/media-credit]

2. Respected Author and Nuclear Engineer Ted Rockwell writes about Fukushima.
3. Dr Kiyohiko Sakamoto on Low Dose Radiation is the subject of a recent post by Rod Adams

Action List Contributors

The History of Nuclear Waste told by Matt Stroud

This post makes for very entertaining reading. It’s quite a creative narrative while telling a lot of the facts around the issue of nuclear waste. It’s pretty long but has great graphics and tells the story of nuclear waste quite well.
http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/14/3038814/yucca-mountain-wipp-wasteland-battle-entomb-nuclear-waste

Also see Rod Adams’ excellent post on the NRC commissioners and new chair. http://atomicinsights.com/2012/06/the-fix-is-in-macfarlane-will-be-confirmed-despite-lack-of-any-technical-or-management-experience.html#comment-20260

Also http://atomicinsights.com/2012/06/transcript-of-atomic-show-61-allison-macfarlane-atomic-agnostic-june-15-2007.html A transcript of 2007 interview on Rod’s Atomic Show with Allison MacFarlane.

Action List

Obama picks an anti-nuke!!! MacFarlane has no nuclear background. We must object.

This is a bitter disappointment. Jaczko was poorly qualified and now Allison MacFarlane, a geoligist and associate professor of Environmental Science and Policy. The senate still needs to confirm the choice but Jaczko resigning should have been seen as an opportunity. Maybe Harry Reid has Obama under his control on this one. I know many were rooting for Magwood who has the proper background.

Some others have noted that she did express curiosity about LFTRs and thorium as an alternative technology. This could be her saving grace.

Rod Adams of Atomic Insights commented

“…I hate the idea of nominating someone who has never managed anything other than her own desk to a position of executive power and responsibility with a billion dollar budget, 4,000 skilled employees, and regulatory authority over a $50 – $100 billion per year industry.

It is just plain WRONG and we need to shout that from every soapbox we can find…”

Also see Rod Adam’s Macfarlane is Not Qualified to be Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Action List

Jaczko announced his resignation

Jaczko Statement

After nearly eight years on the Commission, I am announcing my resignation as Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, effective upon the confirmation of my successor…

Now if his replacement is both pro-nuclear and pro-safety and if he has a better CV than Jaczko then the nuclear energy industry has a chance for significant growth.

To most of the pronuclear advocates this is good news. We may still need to wait till after the presidential election.